Pot is prohibited at Denver International Airport

New signs at airport entrances warn of pot ban

DENVER - In the thickness of the mile-high haze, only planes can get high at Denver International Airport.

Marijuana is banned across the entire airport property, despite a new state law legalizing recreational pot use and possession for adults age 21 and older.

While Amendment 64 decriminalized pot use in Colorado, the law clearly states that any "entity who occupies, owns or controls a property" can prohibit  "the possession, consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale, transportation, or growing of marijuana on or in that property."

"Marijuana in all forms is prohibited from this airport, including edibles," said airport spokeswoman Stacey Stegman. "Even today, you cannot fly with edibles or any form of marijuana."

Even though warning signs were installed at airport entrances over the weekend, DIA isn't establishing special pot patrols. Yet, if you're caught with it, law enforcement will approach you, said Stegman. Punishment could include a warning or a $999 fine.

"I think you're going to see people coming to the airport, realizing. 'I probably shouldn't have this in my bag, because I'm not here to test the law, I'm just here to take a trip,'" said airport security analyst Jeff Price. "And they'll shove in a trash can or they'll put in a planter somewhere. They'll try to hide it somewhere."

The City of Denver made the decision to make the airport a green-free zone, but the current federal ban on marijuana is hard to ignore.

"This space is shared by federal agencies. We have TSA here.  We have FAA.  It's illegal on the federal front, and so it just makes sense for us to participate and comply with this rule," said Stegman.

Airport officials say they're being up front now, so pot-related problems don't take off from the start.

"We don't want people to get in trouble. We just want them to know the rules before they get here," said Stegman.

About 135,000 people travel through the airport on a typical day.  Despite that high traffic, marijuana violations remain rare, she said.